To help vary his calling repertoire, Haydel keeps several different calls on his lanyard. "I usually bring along an acrylic call for when I need a lot of volume and a few softer-sounding calls for close working ducks. Another favorite of mine is a variable-tone call that has a hole in the exhaust barrel that enables you to change the pitch to sound like different ducks. A very effective tactic is to leave the hole open and give a nonchalant hail call, then close the hole with your hand and immediately follow up with a faster, higher-pitched call."
However, Todd Heidelbauer cautions that callers should never lose sight of the fundamentals. "I think today's waterfowlers get bombarded with so much information that a lot of them get overwhelmed and don't know where to begin. The instructional tapes that include intricate calling demonstrations can be downright intimidating to a beginner. Guys shouldn't worry about knowing 30 different types of calls when they really need only three. All you have to do is go out to a marsh, listen to ducks, and try to imitate them. The bottom line is that a caller who can sound like a duck will be successful."